Homologically area-minimizing surfaces that cannot be calibrated

Author:

Zhenhua Liu

Keyword:

Mathematics, Differential Geometry, Differential Geometry (math.DG), Analysis of PDEs (math.AP)

journal:

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date:

2023-10-29 16:00:00

Abstract

In 1974, Federer proved that all area-minimizing hypersurfaces on orientable manifolds were calibrated by weakly closed differential forms. However, in this manuscript, we prove the contrary in higher codimensions: calibrated area-minimizers are non-generic. This is surprising given that almost all known examples of area-minimizing surfaces are confirmed to be minimizing via calibration. Let integers $d\ge 1$ and $c\ge 2$ denote dimensions and codimensions, respectively. Let $M^{d+c}$ denote a closed, orientable, smooth manifold of dimension $d+c$. For each $d$-dimensional integral homology class $[\Sigma]$ on $M$, we introduce $\Omega_{[\Sigma]}$ as the set of metrics for which any $d$-dimensional homologically area-minimizing surface in the homology class $[\Sigma]$ in any $g\in \Omega_{[\Sigma]}$ cannot be calibrated by any weakly closed measurable differential form. Our main result is that $\Omega_{[\Sigma]}$ is always a non-empty open set. To exemplify the prevalence of such phenomenon, we show that for any homology class $[\Sigma]$ on $\mathbb{CP}^n,$ the closure of $\Omega_{[\Sigma]}$ contains the Fubini-Study metric. In the hypersurface case, we show that even when a smooth area-minimizer is present, the calibration forms are compelled in some cases to have a non-empty singular set. This provides an answer to a question posed by Michael Freedman. Finally, we show that the ratio of the integral minimal mass to the real minimal mass is unbounded when we consider all Riemannian metrics. Also, it is always possible to fill a multiple of a homology class with an arbitrarily small area compared to the class itself. This settles the Riemannian version of several conjectures by Frank Morgan, Brian White and Robert Young.